Chicago Fire!

So you know how I feel about professional soccer. I heart it. Mucho.

After an amazing week at Lake Geneva Youth Camp, I rode the train back to Chicago to hang a few days with one of my besties, Betsy. If there is anything I have learned about myself as a speaker, it is this: I’m not good at “re-entry.” I struggle when it is time to return to my real life and for the first 12ish hours, I am so drained of energy that I am a mere shell of an Annie.

So, I figured Betsy should have to put up with that.

She took me to rehab, in the form of a deep dish pizza joint. And while we ate, Betsy said, “would you want to go to a Chicago Fire game tomorrow night?”

My jaw dropped and I said, “you are a great friend and absolutely.”

Because I have never, no not ever, been to a professional soccer game.

Fast forward to Sunday night. 2 dudes from Nashville, also maj soccer fans, just happened to be in town. They happened to have 2 extra tickets and a parking pass. We happened to have a vehicle. We gave them a ride. They gave us tickets. Bada-boom.

[And this is the point when the story takes a [not] surprising “welcome to Annie’s life” turn.]

Betsy and I say thanks for the free tix then part ways from the dudes, planning to meet at the car after the game. And we head to our seats.

And someone is in our seats. And they have tickets, just like ours, for those exact seats.

We get ping-ponged back and forth between a few employees and come to find out that our seats had been sold. TWICE.

The man behind the counter says, “you can’t go to the game, would you like tickets to another?” and I think the you-just-smooshed-my-puppy-with-your-cement-roller look on my face made him slowly slide the tickets back to us. “You’ll have to leave,” he said. BUT HE HANDED US THE TICKETS!

Betsy and I, heads hanging low (we are actresses, of course), turned around and walked back into the game and just stood by the frozen lemonade stand. Because the view was still pretty awesome.

Betsy and I decide not to tell the boys about the little ticket mishap until after the game. Both being Southern gentlemen, they would have immediately given up their seats. We didn’t want them to do that. Their seats were, well, spectacular.

And we were honestly content. I promise. I was just thrilled to be there.

Then, of course, this text message exchange occurs:

Dude: So, how are the seats?

Me: Great! [Not really a lie- they are great seats, we just can’t sit in them. I hoped this would be a sufficient answer for him.]

Dude: Send me a pic!

Send him a pic?!? Sheesh. All I’m trying to do here is keep him from getting up. So, I sent a picture. Of Betsy.

That magically nipped the convo in the bud and we were able to watch the game. It was totally awesome. And even though they ended in a tie, and even though I was super-dee-dooper sweaty, I insisted on being photographed at the stadium.

Cause while I may be cool, calm, and collected at the Grammys, I’m a major geeky super fan at a soccer game.

[Also. Please notice Betsy to my left who will not ever turn around for a picture. Dedicated to the game? Nope. Dedicated to not taking pictures after standing outside in the heat for 90 minutes? Bingo.]

Let's be friends!

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